Meet the Why me? trustees who oversee the management of the charity

Chair, Gillian Slovo

Headshot of Chair of Trustees Gillian SlovoGillian Slovo is a South African born writer and playwright who came to England as a child. She has published fifteen books including Every Secret Thing, her best-selling family memoir; her novel Ice Road which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and her novel Red Dust which was  about South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and which won the French Temoin du Monde prize and was made into a film. Gillian has also had produced four verbatim plays, the last of which, Another World, was on at the National Theatre. She is currently working on a play about the Grenfell Tower fire for the National. She was a trustee on the board of the writers organization, English PEN, for four years before becoming President of English PEN, a post she held between 2010 and 2013. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. 

Gillian came to appreciate Restorative Justice following her own experiences through South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. While she had serious concerns with the approach taken in South Africa, it helped her to appreciate the importance of victims of crime getting an understanding of why they were harmed, directly from the person who had done it. She is motivated to use her position at Why me? to help change the manner in which our society and our justice system deals with victims, and brings perpetrators to understand the harm that they have caused.

Julia Dawson

Headshot of Why me? Trustee Julia Dawson

Julia brings a range of skills earned across working in different sectors. Her first role was working in medical research while studying for a qualification in Biological Sciences. She then went on a host of consumer and business portfolios within the media and publishing sector at Account Director level. 

Now she works as a senior fundraiser within the charity sector specialising in fundraising from corporate companies. In 2015 she was chair of the BAME network at Victims Support in 2015-2017 and has a passion for social and restorative justice through an EDI lens.

Sat Dayal

Headshot of Why me? Trustee Sat Dayal

Sat Dayal is an Executive Director and the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Edelman London. He is a technology sector specialist and has represented tech leaders since the Dotcom era. These include early mobile, cloud and digital media brands.

He currently runs a portfolio of established and fast emerging brands housed in Edelman’s market leading UK technology practice. His current assignments include product positioning and thought leadership campaigns for BT, BCG and AMD.

Having re-joined Edelman in 2012, Sat has helped expand the UK enterprise technology and telecoms portfolio and run consumer and corporate briefs for Ericsson, Orange, Microsoft and LinkedIn.

Sat cut his teeth in tech through an internship for a group of private investors who were establishing internet and telecoms start-ups across Africa and India. Since then he has held various roles in international and boutique communications agencies.

Cathy James OBE

Headshot of Trustee Cathy James OBECathy is a qualified solicitor and the former Chief Executive of the Whistleblowing charity Protect, where she still works as a legal consultant. Through this work Cathy has advised thousands of whistleblowers, as well as organisations, governments and regulators on whistleblowing systems in the UK and internationally. She has expertise in governance and risk management across all sectors. Cathy set up the independent Whistleblowing Commission, which made recommendations for improving the legal framework for whistleblowing in the UK, including a Code of Practice for employers. Before working at Protect, she was a litigation partner in a large London law firm. Cathy was awarded an OBE for services to employment rights in June 2015.

David Munro

Headshot of Trustee David Munro

David Munro was Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner between 2016-2021. This elected post involves overseeing Surrey Police’s overall strategy and budget, holding the Chief Constable to account, and acting as the link between residents and the police force.

David was particularly concerned with reducing re-offending, and helping victims of crime along their often painful journey to obtain justice. He set up a special fund to expand the use of Restorative Justice and victim support while in post. Nationally, he was the PCC lead for Equalities, Diversity and Human Rights, fighting for fair access to the policing and Criminal Justice System for those with protected characteristics.

Before being elected as a PCC, he was a long-standing county councillor, becoming Surrey County Chairman for a two-year spell. He started his working life a long time ago as an Army Officer in the Royal Engineers and was then  involved in computer marketing.

Matthew Pink

Matthew initially trained as a probation officer, then moved to work as a Senior Practitioner in the Youth Offending Service. He currently manages the Restorative Justice Team in Cambridgeshire Youth Offending Service, and has experience as a trainer and practitioner in Restorative Justice work in the Criminal Justice System and the workplace.

Will Jacks

Will is the Research and Strategy Development Manager at the Henry Smith charity. He joined the Why me? board in June 2017. He started his career in the criminal justice sector and has worked in a prison as well as with police tackling online hate crime; he has authored several research papers on this. Since 2013, Will has worked for the Henry Smith charity, a large grant making trust where he is responsible for research and strategy development. He brings an understanding of the charity sector and experience working on both sides of the funder/grantee relationship.

Dr Belinda Hopkins

Headshot of Trustee Belinda Hopkins

Belinda has been pioneering restorative approaches in youth settings across the UK and beyond, for over 20 years. In the mid 90’s she founded Transforming Conflict, the first organisation in the UK to offer training and consultancy in restorative approaches. She later sat on the working group at the Home Office which developed national guidelines for restorative practice.

Belinda gained her doctorate in 2006 with research into the implementation of a whole school restorative approach. She is passionate about sharing how the ethos, principles and practices of restorative approaches can transform communities and institutions.

Belinda has also been on the European Forum for Restorative Justice Values and Principles Working Party, and is currently on their Training Committee – developing standardised training packages for use by all European countries.

Brian Neale

Headshot of Trustee Brian Neale

Brian worked for the police in a career that spanned thirty years and involved a multitude of wide and varied roles. On behalf of the Government Office for the North East and the Home Office, Brian worked in community safety management, project development and project delivery across a range of crime reduction and community safety subjects, often working in partnering arrangements with the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Brian is a long standing champion of Restorative Justice and during his career influenced local partners to invest in Restorative Justice, which ultimately led to its introduction across criminal justice organisations, recovery services, and local authorities. After working regionally and nationally as an advisor, accredited practitioner and trainer, he was given the opportunity to build Restorative Justice services across the Tees Valley. This resulted in the creation of a multi-agency team working across all facets of Restorative Justice, most notably in the area of serious and complex cases in the probation and prison environments.

Prior to his ‘retirement’ Brian led the local service in achieving the Restorative Justice Councils quality mark – RSQM. To date, Brian’s involvement with Restorative Justice continues, working with partners to explore Restorative Justice ideas with young people and latterly military veterans.

Kate Aldous

Headshot of Trustee Kate Aldous

Kate has been a senior manager in the voluntary sector for 20 years. Most of her experience has been in infrastructure organisations, including 12 years in the UK’s criminal justice infrastructure organisation and 10 years in other infrastructure settings. Kate began her career in an environmental mediation charity, and was also a volunteer for a neighbourhood mediation charity for over 4 years. Kate believes that the voluntary sector is uniquely placed to empower communities to improve social justice. 

Victor Azubuike

Victor is an Analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase working in the Securities Services Sales division. He has also dedicated his time to supporting philanthropic causes including mental health, improving educational attainment of children from working class backgrounds and youth justice.

In his final year of university, he partnered with DebateMate, and taught an after-school debating club in a Birmingham inner-city primary school. As a result of this experience, he co-founded My Brothers Keepers’ Bookclub. A series of book clubs with the aim of turning boys from low socioeconomic backgrounds into the most active readership group in the UK.

He is also passionate about reforming the youth justice system and expanding the conversation about mental health to young people. In April 2018, Victor travelled as part of the British delegation to Strasbourg to report to the Council of Europe on the state of Children’s Mental Health and Child-Friendly Justice. He hopes to continue to contribute to these issues in the future.

© 2023 Why me? Charity no. 1137123. Company no. 6992709.